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April 15, 2019

The power of ‘Teen’


April 15, 2019

The ArtKaam Gallery recently held a group art show, featuring the works of three very talented artists, namely Sadia Safdar, Saleha Qureshi and Kiran Saleem. The art exhibition was titled ‘Teen’.

Sadia has majored in sculpture and miniature painting from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. “It has been two years that I started working with fibre and wire mesh, and since then it has become my medium,” a statement released by the gallery quoted her as saying.

“The process of layering and constructing an image with the material itself was very challenging and enjoyable and got the inspiration from the artists who have worked with mesh wire and grid pattern such as Seung Mo Park, a Korean sculptor who makes portraits out of steel mesh wire through a pair of clippers.

“Also, I have looked into artists like Zahoor-ul-Akhlaq and Rashid Rana, who have used grid pattern in their art practices, and I am especially inspired by Rana, who works with small fragments and makes them into one visual.

“In my work as well, the grid itself divides the space into fragments and when it is viewed from a certain distance, you can see the image more clearly, and as you go closer, the image becomes unclear and you just see the shades and values.

“The visuals that I chose to depict come from my own experience of moving through Karachi, where I chose to highlight and appreciate the old architecture as well as the space around it that is usually a lot busier with traffic, people and marketplaces, which I chose not to show as these become obstructions in appreciating the beautiful architecture and their surroundings.

“The idea of using mesh along with this subject is also because layering it creates a visual movement, which gives the illusion of movement in space where I am also passing through or moving from place to place.”

Saleha’s body of work, on the other hand, is a mix of photographs of the sea taken from the window. “Remember that day when you wore your red dress and walked on the boundary wall holding your dada and nano’s hand? How sometimes you would play in the sand building castles, collecting shells and running around? How you would come home with sand on your clothes, getting a scolding from your mother? Remember?

“As a child I visited the sea several times, building a connection with it, but when I was growing older the connection was limited to my window. In that process, all the time spent at the sea as a child faded away.

“When I moved out of the house after 24 years, the only memory I took of the sea was the view of it through my window. My paintings depict how the image of the sea that was embedded in my head is fading with time.

“The blurriness and the darks depict one’s mind. With time the images in our heads fade and blur as life goes on. As it’s said, ‘nothing lasts forever’.”

Kiran’s work roots itself from a personal experience of being watched without her consent. “Using metal washers as my material, I have constructed curtains that represent the barriers I have placed between me and the outsider. These pieces are attractive yet threatening.

“Converting cloth into a hard, gritty form, possessing the qualities of armour or shield, these pieces are strong yet fragile at the same time, as there is still a possibility of being watched through them. From the nature of the vulnerability of the female body in spaces, emerges my body of work.”

Photos courtesy ArtKaam Gallery

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